Climate protestors who lay across the road to a Pembroke oil refinery with their hands in concrete have apologised to the local community.

Esme White, of Burdock Road, Frome, Somerset; Sven Croft, of Belle Vue Road, Easton, Bristol; Blake Eley, of Porkellis, Helston, Cornwall; Manuela Froseh, of Talley, Llandeilo, and Clara Clay, of Brechfa, appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, October 15.

All five pleaded guilty to wilfully obstructing free passage along the road leading to the east ate entrance to Valero on September 19. They represented themselves when they appeared individually in the dock.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said the group took with them three concrete blocks which they had cast themselves when they assembled on the road near Valero refinery at 5am on September 19.

A four-inch pipe had been set into the centre of the blocks, which allowed the protesters to insert an arm and hold on to the concrete while lying across the road.

“They each put an arm inside and the whole road was impassable to traffic. They stayed there until 6pm, so workers and local people were unable to access the road.”

The protesters left of their own volition at around 6.20pm.

Mr Pritchard-Jones, added: “I’m not sure why the police did not just drag them off and open the road. It seems somewhat odd.”

Clara Clay, 40, was fined £66, and referenced the words of climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg when she addressed the bench: “This is the science, we must act now.”

She said carbon emissions were ‘tottering on the cliff edge of uncontrollable’, calling for oil distribution and consumption to be addressed.

“I humbly apologise to the workers and the people in the local community, with them I have no quarrel.

“We find ourselves in the middle of sick global mass extinction.

“Faced with human instigated destruction, I have non-violently taken a stance on behalf of those who are unable to do so.”

Sven Croft, 29, was fined £92. He said he was remorseful for the inconvenience caused to refinery staff and the local population.

He said: “The action I undertook was not malicious. It was out of desperation and frustration at a complete lack of action on behalf of the government and our leaders to take steps to prevent the impending catastrophe that we are facing.”

Croft added that he suffered from depression and anxiety.

“The fact that we are on the brink of extinction is definitely adding to it.”

Blake Eley, 21, was fined £40. He said staff were allowed to enter the refinery by foot or push-bike, adding that it had been a ‘hard action’ to take knowing the impact on the local community.

He added that the company’s decision to cut through a hedgerow and move tankers across a ‘hastily-made track’ put the drivers at risk and could have potentially caused an oil spill.

“I am guilty before the law of man, but guilt-free before the eyes and hearts of the world, and accountable to both.”

Manuela Froseh, 42, was also fined £40.

She told the court she took part in the action because she felt that the life-long personal choices she made to minimise her impact on the planet were not making a great enough difference to its future.

“I have had to explain to my daughter that these choices were for nothing.”

Esme White, 22, was fined £40. She said the habitat was being poisoned for short-term benefits.

“No action is being taken by the government to halt the effects that we are having on our planet.

“Our reliance on fossil fuels needs to change. I cannot see another way of sending this message. I feel I have exhausted all other avenues without success.

“I sincerely apologise to the people who were affected by our protest. My fight is not with them.”

She added that she suffered from anxiety issues stemming from the state of the world and how the planet is treated.

All five were ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 surcharge.

Paul Hanlon, 49, of Canal Side, Aberdulais, who is accused of the same offence, is due to appear before the court on October 29.